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Sharing burden Switzerland pledges more help to Greece on migrant issue

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Greece currently hosts 110,000 migrants and refugees in asylum centres.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

The Alpine nation has offered to provide technical support as well as take in more migrants under certain conditions.

The two countries will work together to improve the management of migration by the Greek authorities. Measures proposed by Switzerland include sending additional experts to help identify and register asylum seekers, implement new asylum procedures or for border surveillance and management. Additional measures are also being examined in the area of humanitarian aid, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) announced on Monday.

State Secretary for Migration Mario Gattiker, who is visiting Greece, will sign an agreement on Tuesday with the non-governmental organisation ZEUXIS to open a second reception centre for unaccompanied male minors. Switzerland could also take in minors currently in Greece under the Dublin system, provided they have family ties in the country. Greece currently hosts 110,000 migrants and refugees.

Since 2015, Switzerland has voluntarily taken in 579 asylum seekers who reached Greece as part of a European Union relocation programme. It has financially supported Greece on migration matters to the tune of CHF7 million (a little over $7 million) during the same period.


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